Danish gender equality laws extended to haircuts

hair dummyDenmark’s laws on gender equality have been extended into the country’s barbershops and beauty salons. Last month saw the country’s Board of Equal Treatment rule in favour of a female salon customer that filed a complaint because the business she visited was charging just DKK 428 (EUR 57) for men’s haircuts and DKK 528 (EUR 71) for women’s haircuts, in addition to an extra fee for those with long hair.

The salon was ordered to pay the woman DKK 2,500 (EUR 335) in compensation.

Denmark has long been at the forefront of gender equality laws, even among its Nordic counterparts. However, some Danes say that applying such regulations to haircuts is going too far.

The country’s leading trade organistation of independent hairdressers and cosmeticians has filed an appeal against the board’s ruling, saying that it will create “pricing chaos” in the trade.

Connie Mikkelsen, who chairs the group, told Reuters, “It takes, quite simply, longer time with women.” She went on to add that the rules may lead to hairstylists changing the way they charge for services, whether it be by the hour, the standard of the haircut, or by the length of the hair.

However, she added, “Measuring time will lead to a discussion of hair length – what is medium length and what is long. It will end in a series of conflicts with customers.”